Review: The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland

Middle Grade Madness

The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland

Sisters Marigold, Zinnia, and Lily Silver can’t wait for summer vacation. Twelve-year-old Marigold is hoping to get her first kiss, while Zinnia, eleven, has plenty of time on her hands and will most likely spend it in Marigold’s shadow. And though five-year-old Lily may look like an angel, she has a knack for mischief.

But the sisters’ summer plans crumble when their parents send them to visit their aunt Sunny on Cape Cod. Small-town life is not what these L.A. girls had in mind, and they must adjust to sharing one room and living without a TV. Eventually, though, Aunt Sunny—along with her cheery attitude and delicious brownies—wins them over. Before they know it, the girls are cracking lobster shells at clambakes, making new friends, and even organizing a local talent show…all while learning how to band together as the strongest version of themselves: sisters.

Title: The Forget-Me-Not Summer
Author: Leila Howland
Publication date: May 5, 2015

I received an ARC of The Forget-Me-Not Summer from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Oldest sister Marigold is a budding actress who’s finally found an agent and is dying to audition for a role in Night Sprites, a movie based on her favorite book series. Zinnie, following in Marigold’s footsteps, wants to act too — but she’s just been kicked out of acting class. Lily just likes to have fun. When their parents get short-term jobs out of town for the summer, they decide to send the sisters to visit Aunt Sunny for three weeks.

That’s the end of Marigold’s Night Sprites dreams, and things only gets worse when she breaks her phone on the first day. Aunt Sunny has an ancient computer (and dial-up!), so even her connection to her friends back home is lost. She and her sisters soon fall into a routine of beach time and making new friends. Marigold even meets a boy she likes, although she denies her attraction for a long time.

The Forget-Me-Not Summer is told from both Marigold’s and Zinnie’s points of view, with a slightly more sympathetic bent towards Zinnie. Marigold is a little bratty (she is almost thirteen) and resents that Zinnie is always trying to do everything she does. Too young to play a major part in the storyline, Lily perfects the annoying little sister role. She also has some great lines, even describing Marigold as “too cool for school” when she distances herself from her family. It’s debatable whether she’s a little too precocious, but she has regular five-year-old traits, like homesickness and a fear of the ocean, to balance it out.

The girls throw themselves into Cape Cod living, and before they know it, it’s almost time to go home. At the last minute, and to help Marigold out in her Night Sprites quest, Zinnie decides to put on a play. She’s told it’s too ambitious in the time left, but there is an old tradition of a children’s talent show…Zinnie takes it and runs with it, throwing the whole thing together successfully. In the process she learns that just because her acting teacher didn’t have any use for her doesn’t mean he knows everything.

The Forget-Me-Not Summer made me smile so much. I loved the girls, especially Lily and Zinnie, and would love to read more about them as they grow up. Marigold might get annoyed with Zinnie, and Zinnie with Lily, but in the end the girls love and support each other.

five stars



  1. So glad you loved this one! I’ve been thinking of getting into MG but haven’t been sure where to start. This looks like a good place.
    Lauren @ Bookmark Lit recently posted…Review: Things I Can’t ForgetMy Profile


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